WotC released the results of their survey that asked for feedback for Unearthered Arcana: Kits of Old. This month’s survey has some questions providing additional character options and then about the material released in the Awakened Mystic Unearthed Arcana article. Maybe they are starting to think about a Player’s Handbook 2 or something else the provides expanded player options.
- College of Swords for the bard received very high ratings, enough across the board that I’d say it needs only a few tweaks to be ready for addition to the game. The warrior-bard has long been a key character in D&D, but it looks like folks prefer a more swashbuckling take on it.
- College of Satire and the cavalier and scout fighter archetypes all scored at about the same level. There are individual elements that need some attention, but nothing scored negatively and comments indicate that each piece needs a review and tweaks based on playtesting.
Overall WotC believes that they have “learned a good deal about what works from a design standpoint and what gaps exist in the game“…
- UA has expanded every class except the druid
- we’ve begun considering what the first, major mechanical expansion to the game might look like.
- we want to make sure that any content we add to the game fills in a gap. If you want to play a type of character and the rules don’t support that, we want to fill it in.
- Sometimes, a gap might not exist until we try to fill it. We might see a concept that we want to take a chance on, like presenting a new, artificer-based character class. In that case, we rely on playtesting to tell us if the new concept fills a genuine need.
- DMs and the difficulty in running a game comes next. When we add new material, we have to keep in mind how much harder it is to run the game. Fifth edition has been very successful so far, and in part I think that’s because the typical DM feels comfortable with the variety and volume of character options to manage. A major new expansion must be sure to avoid upsetting that situation.
So how would they go about expanding D&D 5e’s player options?
- Keeping mechanics simple, direct, and evocative. It also means developing some guidelines DMs can use to manage options in their campaigns. As an example, in various interviews we’ve talked about how we expect a single campaign should use the PHB and one other book as resources for players. Beginning DMs should stick to only the PHB.
- As you add more material, it becomes much harder for the DM to keep a handle on everything. When we do a major mechanical expansion, the product will be designed to integrate seamlessly with the Player’s Handbook and to remain manageable for a DM with a campaign or two under her belt.
- Finally, any new expansion must undergo rigorous playtesting and validation by the community of players and DMs. That approach worked out well of the core rulebooks, so there’s no reason to stray from it.